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In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste - Politics - Nairaland

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In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by cocolacec(m): 6:35am On Mar 10, 2018
https://www.google.com.ng/amp/s/timeline.com/amp/p/159a6487b5aa

In the 1980s, Italy paid a Nigerian town $100 a month to store toxic waste—and it’s happening again
Toxic colonialism at its worst
- Stephanie Buck

In the mid 1980s, Italy could only process 20 percent of the toxic waste it generated. The rest it quietly sent abroad. Why not, when you could pay a poor African community to store your dangerous chemicals?
The small fishing village of Koko, Nigeria, made international headlines in 1988 when it was discovered that two Italian firms had arranged for the storage of 18,000 drums of hazardous waste with Koko residents. The containers were disguised as building materials and offloaded into a local man’s vacant yard for $100 per month.

By the time Nigerian authorities identified the scheme, the drums were leaking and people were getting sick.
Nigerian students in Italy learned about the waste dump in Koko and alerted the media. In May 1988, The Daily Times, a government-run Nigerian newspaper, traveled to the tiny port town to investigate. There, in a vacant residential lot, reporters found “over 2,000 drums, sacks, and containers,” some of which were “identified with the letter R (the international symbol indicating ‘toxic and harmful industrial waste’). Many have already burst and are emitting a very offensive odor in the area.”

The lot’s owner, Sunday Nana, confirmed that he had agreed to let foreign importers use his land. He had initially asked for $200 per month, but negotiations settled at $100. Four shipments had arrived since the previous year, and more were coming.

The Nigerian government was shocked. Immediately, it ordered an Italian ship docked in Lagos to be seized and detained. Italian authorities responded by insisting the chemicals deposited at Koko were not harmful but merely coal tars, paint waste, and industrial solvents. But an independent analysis of the material by a British environmental group determined that 28 percent of the waste contained polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), a combustible that could produce a highly toxic compound called dioxin.

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Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by cocolacec(m): 6:38am On Mar 10, 2018
For years, an Italian importer living in Nigeria, one Gianfranco Raffaelli, had managed to divert ships from their legal destinations to smaller port cities like Koko, where cargo inspections were forgiving or virtually nonexistent. It was Raffaelli who paid off Sunday Nana. When the story broke, he fled the country on June 2 without a passport, apparently able to bypass immigration at the airport in Lagos.
Nigeria was embarrassed. In the months leading up to the Koko story, its foreign minister, Ike Nwachuku, had denounced other African nations for accepting Europe’s waste products. In fact, he was at the United Nations in New York City asking for help shutting down exports to poorer states when the Koko dump was exposed. The emperor had no clothes.
But the government reacted swiftly. Not only did Nigeria demand that Italy remove the waste, it arrested at least 14 Nigerians involved in the smuggling and threatened them with a firing squad.
In June, authorities ordered 5,000 of Koko’s residents to evacuate. Land around the dump site was deemed unfit for use. Still, some residents refused to leave. “It’s not possible to move. This is our fathers’ land,” said David Okotie, the eldest son of Koko chief Kaka Olombu, who was blind and deaf. “All we want is that this poison be taken away immediately and the government bring in expert doctors so that the ill can be treated.”

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Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by Dycaptain(m): 6:39am On Mar 10, 2018
them think say we no get sense, them 2 like their self
Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by cocolacec(m): 6:41am On Mar 10, 2018
Neighbors exposed to the toxic waste, which contained PCBs, dimethyl formaldehyde, and asbestos fibers, suffered nausea, paralysis, and premature births. Sunday Nana himself died of throat cancer. Even Nigerian Port Authority workers who helped transport the poison back onto the Italian ship walked away with chemical burns, despite having worn protective suits.
It would be 21 years of class action lawsuits against the Nigerian Port Authority before Koko residents saw any compensation. Ninety-four victims of the dumping were awarded a total of $264,666.
It was toxic colonialism, a phrase Greenpeace coined in 1992 to describe the “dumping of industrial wastes of the West on territories of the Third World.” More broadly, it was a cut-and-dry case of environmental racism, in which a wealthier, more powerful nation preyed on the vulnerabilities of a less-developed region.
“The toxic waste matter reeks full of the odor of corruption,” wrote the African Guardian. Nigerian magazine African Concord concurred. “That Italy did not contemplate Australia or South Africa or some other place for industrial waste re-echoes what Europe has always thought of Africa: A wasteland. And the people who live there, waste beings.”
Back at the docks in Koko, workers loaded 2,100 metric tons of toxic waste back onto Karin B. She set sail. The proposed destination was Ravenna, Italy. En route, however, the city rejected the cargo, claiming it would affect tourism.
Over the next month, Italy attempted to dock and offload the chemicals into other European countries. France, Britain, Spain, West Germany, and the Netherlands all refused permission to land.
‘’We do not want to accept a load of waste unless we know that our plants are able to treat it,’’ Thierry Cambrolle, director of pollution prevention for France’s Ministry of the Environment, told The New York Times. ‘’We do not know if our plants can process the waste because we have been unable to verify exactly what the waste is.’’ The French government urged Italy to repackage the leaky drums onboard and analyze the exact components of the waste before returning for help. In watchful distrust, French authorities continued to track the Karin B using a navy ship and tugboat.
Meanwhile, Italy instructed six of its own port cities to stay alert for instructions to take the cargo, whereupon the ports declared a state of “pre-alarm” and began trade negotiations to keep clear of the waste.
On September 3, facing increased pressure from international press and advocacy groups, the Italian Cabinet approved a decree that banned export of toxic chemicals to developing nations and limited future reliance on European Union countries for processing.
Nine weeks after leaving Koko, the Karin B finally received permission to land from Livorno, Italy. The voyage had become “a question of national dignity,” said Italy’s Environment Minister Giorgio Ruffolo.
In 1989, the U.N. designed an international treaty known as the Basel Convention, intended to prevent shipment and disposal of hazardous waste from industrial to developing countries, via a procedure of strict requirements and consents. Italy is a party; America never ratified the agreement.
Thirty years later, in February 2017, reports broke of another massive dump in Koko by an international oil company. According to Nigeria Communications Week, locals started noticing the waste coming in via barges and trucks months before. A source at the accused company, a Nigerian manufacturer called Ebenco Global Lint Ltd, insists it chose Koko as a simple “recycle” location. “This is sludge and it is not toxic; it is wealth to us because we are recycling them,” said the source, who went only by the name Ebenezer.
Nigerian lab tests allegedly prove the waste is toxic.

https://www.google.se/amp/s/timeline.com/amp/p/159a6487b5aa

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Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by hisgrace090: 7:12am On Mar 10, 2018
An unfare treatment from Italy.
Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by Nutase: 7:19am On Mar 10, 2018
Koko son suffer.

14 Likes

Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by anibirelawal(m): 7:43am On Mar 10, 2018
Which part of the country is KOKO
Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by Okoroawusa: 8:24am On Mar 10, 2018
anibirelawal:
Which part of the country is KOKO
Delta state

Then it was called Bendel State

I think IBB was the head of state then.His response to the crisis was top notch but by then people had started dieing with severe sicknesses.

Ignorance on the part of citizens n govt caused it all

Forget about the Basel Convention, European nations r still sending their toxic waste to Africa but in a subtle manner.

36 Likes 1 Share

Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by Okoroawusa: 8:27am On Mar 10, 2018
This story don tey o!


Small pikins no go understand


This is not a "Buhari must die" story

29 Likes

Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by BlackDBagba: 9:08am On Mar 10, 2018
Thank you... Saw this on BBC a while back though
Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by oliidell(m): 10:07am On Mar 10, 2018
The Koko incident is very pathetic but historically significant in Nigeria's Environmental campaign. It led to the establishment of the Federal Environmental Protection Authority-now Federal Ministry of Environment and was one of the globally acknowledged incidents that triggered the Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movement of hazardous waste.

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Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by rawtouch: 2:33pm On Mar 10, 2018
what kind of this is this..



P.M.B.2019, daura..

1 Like

Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by igboOSU: 2:35pm On Mar 10, 2018
Wicked paleskinned pigs

8 Likes 1 Share

Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by Xisnin(m): 2:36pm On Mar 10, 2018
Some Nigerians will sell their parents for a dollar.
I know many will blame the Italian while excusing the Nigerians
who traded the lives of their compatriots for peanut.
This is the same scenario that played out during the slave trade,
brothers were selling their brothers for gunpowders and mirrors.

61 Likes 6 Shares

Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by PlaybooyGANG(m): 2:38pm On Mar 10, 2018
Say God!!!


Sorry...


Say baba!!!

1 Like

Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by FisifunKododada: 2:43pm On Mar 10, 2018
shocked
Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by aspirebig: 2:45pm On Mar 10, 2018
Too bad..Why Koko, why?
Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by Nobody: 2:45pm On Mar 10, 2018
Is it not the same story playing out today?

Wetin concern Omo Onile or Dave collector with toxic waste?

Once you pay your money you can put up literally anything.
Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by deepwater(f): 2:45pm On Mar 10, 2018
It was a simple case of dangerous goods not stored with any form of compliance.

Till today, we still use Dangerous goods without knowing, if only the Italians shared and explained the MSDS to the lot owner it wouldn't have been much a problem.

Many people in Nigeria today still sleep under ceilings made from coagulated asbestos dust undecided
Everyday we get exposed to radioactive sources without knowing.

Bottom line is if you are knowledgeable and trained to handle this stuff u will be fine. in my line of duty I ensure these are the last skips loaded on my deck before i set sail and the first to be removed upon arriving the installation.

5 Likes

Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by olaboy1: 2:47pm On Mar 10, 2018
That’s how Europeans are, it’s in their DNA and they will never change from the rulership mentality of their fore fathers.
You see them donating money to Africa like they give a sh$t about us.

Denmark is currently trying to pass a law where they will have a facility or colony in North Africa to send their asylum seekers to and even when they are granted asylum they still can’t move to Denmark. Africa needs to wake up and use the social media to name and shame countries dragging us down. One wonders why Denmark is not considering Switzerland or Australia as the dumping ground of asylum seekers.

We need to learn how to maximize our resources and eat what we produce and forget about European aids, they think so lowly of Africans and we shouldn’t entrust our lives into their hands.

One day I believe Africa will rise.

35 Likes 5 Shares

Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by BrutalJab: 2:47pm On Mar 10, 2018
Okoroawusa:
This story don tey o!

Small pikins no go understand

This is not a "Buhari must die" story
old man wey im whole existence depends on Nairaland. I hail o.
But learn to dey close ur mouth at times.
Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by phreakabit(m): 2:51pm On Mar 10, 2018
Where is Koko situated?
Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by BiafraIShere(m): 2:55pm On Mar 10, 2018
I knew it was koko in Delta state the moment I saw the headline. Such a shame!
Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by Quality20(m): 3:02pm On Mar 10, 2018
Sahara desert would have been OK for dumping

1 Like

Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by free2ryhme: 3:04pm On Mar 10, 2018
These are many more why some blacks don't have sense

4 Likes

Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by Gangster1ms: 3:04pm On Mar 10, 2018
Why dem no dump am for one village for italy? angry u ship poison all the way from Italy to delta state.. wicked soul. Something that can affect the soil biotic structure and make it barren.. Something that can wipe out the entire village, the aquatic community and so on. Thank God it brought about the set up of environmental protection agency (EPA)



Proud Environmentalist

5 Likes 1 Share

Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by potent5(m): 3:09pm On Mar 10, 2018
Back THEN, I watched it on NTA and saw how domestic animals died in large numbers while residents of the area were seriously sick.

1 Like

Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by obaataaokpaewu: 3:10pm On Mar 10, 2018
No be now any Nana from Itsekiri dey pull weight. Nana Olomu comes to mind
Re: In The 1980s, Italy Paid Koko, A Nigeria Town $100 A Month To Store Toxic Waste by Rexnegro(m): 3:18pm On Mar 10, 2018
Imagine

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